This is an ancient Grecian phrase that effectively means, I exist. This is the ultimate declarative statement by a person and is at the core of the considerations around human consciousness. This phrase has also been translated to mean, I am. Which is the same concept, I am, or other works, I exist. This is a declarative concept that indicates the speaker is aware of their existence and are capable of accepting responsibility for their influence on the world and their self identification. This existential self expression maybe the thought that sparked human consciousness, and perhaps does mark the beginning of our own journey. I remember now, I exist as the newborn opens their eyes to the world. Important to consider that the same greek phrase when spoken in an action phrase, or verb, means to be.
There is a deeper meaning, referenced in Christianity. Specifically referring to the Septuagint. This the Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The Greco-Latin language was the language of the world back then, so when this translation was made there not had been previously a Bible that actually could be read by people in the modern world. This form of Greek was written and spoken by the Alexander era mediterranean peoples. Of course later on, what is now known as the New Testament would also be translated into Greek and the distribution of these Hebrew texts would eventually become the most influential set of writings ever recorded.
It seems non-coincidental, that the translation of the concept of existing, being, or taking action for oneself would become ego eimi, I am. Now I will not spend time writing about the many theories about this phrase and what the theological impact is. You can go get a theology degree if that sort of thing really excites you, however, it is interesting to consider the impact of this phrase, I am. In the book of Genesis, for example, God tells Abram, or Abraham many times that he is one thing or another. Effectively declaring that he is I am. There is a really interesting play on words here. Was God declaring himself in a nominative case, thus naming himself as I am – the existence? Or was he stating that he was something? I am your shield, for example. Perhaps both?
Seems to make sense that it is both, as the very idea of God may have been what the poem in the first book of Genesis seems to reference. This idea of God is what sparked creation, therefore, the Hebrew phrasing may have been purposeful. Now, Jesus, or at least a really brilliant monk working on the the translation of the Book of John in the New Testament, seemly knew about this nuance. Many times Jesus refers to himself with the the phrase I am and a predicate. I am the Light, I am the Door, I am the Resurrection and the Life, I am the Vine, etc… However, in a few instances this is not the case and this may have been deliberate. There is a phrase attributed to Jesus in which he uses this phrase in a completely nominative sense. The most famous coming from John Chapter 8 – “verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Did Jesus really state, before Abraham existed, I did? Did he also mean to state that I am the existence, or therefore, I am God? Well, the purpose of this blog is not to delve into deep doctrinal concepts of that nature, as fun as that might be. However, I bring it up because this concept of ego eimi is incredibly powerful for one’s personal journey. Are you willing to declare to yourself, openly and boldly that you exist!!?? Maybe not to go so far as to declare that you are the “I AM.” However, perhaps to declare that yes, I do indeed exist? I will leave my mark on this world, whether the world likes it or not!
Putting religion aside, Christian or no, I think we can all respect the very real fact that Jesus actually did exist. He, above almost any other historical figure, was ego eimi. His impact was incredible. There have been others, no doubt, but Jesus certainly and absolutely left a mark on the world. As I think about people, that go about their lives today, I cannot help think of those people that really do exist. I mean there is show up and go through the motions type of existence, but then there is the ones that really do EXIST! I mean they are doing something every day to exert their will, or the will of what they believe in on the world. Where would we be without the people in our human population that really do actually exist!!?
Do you exist? Can you declare unequivocally that you are to be, that you ego eimi?